Laura Dennis‘s Adopted Reality, A Memoir opens with riveting and tense words:

“I’ve successfully infiltrated the Illuminati’s West Coast cell.  I suspect they’re onto me.”

Although the reader senses in these words a psychological thriller, Adopted Reality Adopted Realityis so much more.  Dennis writes with authenticity the raw truth of her many-sided life. Always searching for love as affirmation of her worth, she tells a story of personal perfectionism destroying happiness, how our flawed humanness is a natural part of each of us.  Unwittingly, through this drive for perfectionism, Dennis alienates friends and acquaintances leaving her feeling all alone.

The author effectively shares three life episodes in Adopted Reality:  her adoption, meeting her birth mother, and experiencing a bipolar episode after the events of September 11th.  Using flashbacks and smoothly crafted transitions in her writing, she pulls the reader into her story as if reading a novel and not a memoir.  This book is a page-turner not to be missed.

Reading Adopted Reality opened my eyes to two issues our society often fails to take note of. First, the dualistic life of adoptees.  Searching for answers to family history and background, tracing medical histories, hoping to find and meet birth parents, and the constant hope for a life of love and happiness while balancing unanswered questions and mysteries about who you really are is enough to create the environment for mental breakdown.

Second, the author shares her experiences with an episode of bipolar disorder.  Stories like hers need to be told  because unfortunately, despite advancements in medical science in many areas, very little has been done to provide better care for our citizens suffering from any one of a variety of mental illnesses.  And these stories bring a greater awareness to our society of the needs in this area.

Not only does the author tell us her story, she provides a guidepost for others writing in the memoir genre.  It is a pure example of the characteristics of a finely written memoir.

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I received a free copy of Adopted Reality, A Memoir from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.